I put my coat on hurriedly and turned up its collar at the sudden icy wind that swept up the streets like a great invisible serpent. Kevan was as close on my heels as one might get in the event of a chase. Of course we knew that Sir Madness Tuesday was leading us on a wild goose chase. He was far too clever for us to trail him this way, but still, chasing geese may bring some point into fruition. We kept our ears open for signs of disruption in the stony streets, following any flapping of fabric or tap of a boot heel; chasing shadows in the windows. I suddenly stopped and Kevan nearly toppled into me as I stood there. He peaked around my shoulders to see we had come to a dead end. Quite literally as Sir Madness Monday's hat sat on a wooden crate before us. I couldn't move. Kevan stepped towards the box and gingerly picked up the tweed dearstalker to reveal a metal thimble, an ace of diamonds, and two wooden matches beneath its brim.
"He tends to do that," came a voice out of the shadows. We whipped our heads around in two shakes of a lambs tale to reveal a petite blonde woman dressed in a smart navy blue pantsuit. She quirked her head to the side and revealed two perfectly deep dimples on either side of her pink ribbon lips.
"He likes to play games and as it would seem, you two are his newest conquest. I'd hold onto those if I were you," she continued as she gestured to the items which lay exposed against the rough wood. "You will probably need them." With that she turned on her heel and got into a black car which had been waiting silently just off the curb. I can only assume she'd been following Sir Madness Tuesday as well and simply bumped into us on her way. We stood silent for a few more moments before Kevan gently took my elbow and guided me back to our once comfortable abode. We splayed out the items on our kitchen table and stared at them for hours. I pulled my knees up to my chest and rocked back and forth while staring at those uninvited objects for hours on end.
Days, weeks, months passed with no sign of a breakthrough, no odd changes in the weather, no strangers at our door. Well, other than our usual tenants. Eventually Kevan and I began to move on with our lives. Put the hat and its belongings up on a shelf where we only occasionally gazed at it during an absent minded meal. Until one day...
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I was glad to be nearby when Hannah finally came to. She'd been unconscious for several hours and, though a great deal happened while she was out, none of it is really worth regaling since she wasn't involved. But my poor cousin was in a fit of hysteria when she awoke, cursing herself for being such a klutz around the handsome beau. It took some time, but I eventually calmed her down. She sat up in her bed and took the tea I offered. I also handed her the morning paper.
"No thanks," she said. "I already read it."
"It's Tuesday," I responded, meaning two things.
She furrowed her brow and took the paper. The front page had the scene we saw the day before. Police cars and yellow tape surrounding an area on the beach. The headline said it all. Hannah stared in disbelief.
"This says," she realized, "this says Sir Madness is dead."
I nodded. She folded the paper and placed it on her lap.
"Then who greeted us on the shoreline?" she asked slowly.
"Well," I began, not sure how to explain, "Sir Madness, the one we knew, is dead. He was Sir Madness Monday, but he had a twin. Tuesday."
Hannah had trouble processing this. She repeated the name. I couldn't blame her, after all. I was only convinced by the outrageous events that transpired after she passed out. Sir Madness Tuesday had proven himself, not only to be who he said he was, but to be just as much trouble as his twin brother (younger by only fifty-three seconds).
"So, why was he there?" she asked after another cup of tea. "And why did he say it was good to see us again?"
"Because I thought it'd be funny," came a familiar voice. Sir Madness Tuesday stepped into the room with a bow. "That answers one of your questions. But which one? That is for you to decide. And as for the other, well that's simple - Because I killed him."
And with that, he broke the window with a chair he pulled from his coat, and leapt dramatically out of sight. I looked to Hannah for a queue, but she was watching the window, glaring at it. She rose from her bed and tossed me my coat, always keeping her eyes on the window.
"We have to go after him," she said at last. "There's no other way."